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Thread: general psychology class exercise - write a letter to your parents or child

  1. #1

    Default general psychology class exercise - write a letter to your parents or child

    So I just did this assignment for my General Psych class and I felt like it was seriously cathartic so I thought I would share it on here so that others can try it out.


    Your task is to write two semiautobiographical letters, one to a future or actual child on the occasion of the child’s eighteenth birthday and a second to your parents. The letters provide you with the opportunity to discuss developmental issues from a personal, concrete perspective.

    In the letter to your child (real or future), you are asked to address the following issues:

    1. When and why did you decide to have this child?

    2. What are the most important characteristics of a parent, and why?

    3. Which of your strengths would make you a successful parent?

    4. Describe the qualities you hope your child will possess, and why you think these qualities are important.

    5. State your dreams for your child and pass on any words of wisdom.

    In the letter to your parents, you are asked to cover the following issues:

    1. Describe your general feelings about your present life and values and try to assess your parents’ influence on you.

    2. Describe three strengths of your parents.

    3. Describe a weakness of your parents or some characteristic that you would like to have changed.

    4. Choose one or two areas of development—intellectual, moral, personality, social—in which your parents had the most influence and explain how or why.

    5. Thank your parents for something special.

  2. #2


    Dear Unborn Mystery Kid,

    I am writing this letter to you so that I can share some valuable information and wonderful memories with you before you go out into the world as an adult.

    Your Dad and I decided to have a baby after we relocated to Costa Rica in 2019. We wanted to have a child because we were finally settled down in a permanent place where we owned a bed and breakfast so we could raise our child, together, from home. We wanted our child to be actively raised by us and to be able to spend a lot of time learning outdoors in a beautiful place like Costa Rica and, so, in 2020 you were born and you were beautiful.

    The most important characteristics of a parent are honesty, integrity, humility, and respect and I hope that your father and I were able to pass all of these qualities down to you. It is important to tell your child the truth about things and not to hide things that parents might not want them to know. It is equally as important to have integrity, in other words, to be impeccable with your word. When parents lead with a “do as I say, not as I do” approach, children tend to do as they do, because they can recognize hypocrisy easier than you would think. It is also crucial that parents have humility and are able to admit when they are wrong about something. This teaches children that making mistakes is a part of life and it’s not the end of the world when they are wrong about something. A parent should extend all of these practices to their children because they respect them and they deserve nothing less, as human beings.

    I think that my intense empathy for others has been my strongest tool as a parent, because it has kept me so in tune with how you are feeling deep down, and that has kept our bond strengthened. I hope that we have taught you to be honest and forthright with your opinions, to not be afraid of expressing those opinions to others, to help others less fortunate, and to treat all human beings with respect and dignity, regardless of what differences you might have.

    I know that you will learn to live life free of fear’s grip and that you will learn to see life as a mountain that is waiting for you to climb to the top. Remember to stop and help those who are stuck halfway up and always remember that accepting help from others when you need it doesn’t make you weak. It is lonely at the top of the mountain when you have no friends to enjoy the view with you.




    Dear Mom and Dad,

    Currently my life is in a state of bliss and stress at the same time. I met the love of my life 5 years ago. We have been married for a year now, and he is my best friend in the world. I couldn’t imagine having a better partner and confidante. We both love people and we love helping any person or animal that might be in need. My source of stress is mostly from learning to adjust to going to school now that I have re-enrolled for the first time in about 7 years, but also because I don’t have any female friends that live in the area to confide in about my troubles.

    I have recently learned that I am very introverted and, while that has been comforting to have an explanation for why I always felt so different than most of my friends growing up, who are overwhelmingly extroverted, I have still been feeling lonely because I haven’t really met any girlfriends that I connected with on an authentic level, since I moved away from my hometown and relocated to the East Bay 5 years ago.

    Mom, you have always been an individualist and you have always been highly empathetic. Dad, you have always been a headstrong & logical thinker who sacrificed a lot of time and effort to care for our family when I was growing up.

    Dad, I think you are much too concerned about the opinions of others and I think that I would’ve felt much more accepted when I was growing up if you had not projected so many of your own personal insecurities on me, like the way you fixated on my weight when I was young because you were afraid I would get teased in school like you did. Mom, I think that you were very scared of being alone after you and Dad split up and, because of that, my brother and I were on quite the emotional rollercoaster because you got attached to the wrong people and then we got attached to them before you realized that they weren’t right for you. With John in particular, it felt like we went through a second divorce when you guys split up because we were so close to him for several years before you left him. He and I were probably more connected that I am to my own dad, and it turned out that he wasn’t the person we thought he was at all. I know that people can easily be fooled but I think that it wouldn’t have been so easy for him to fool you if you hadn’t been so desperate to fall in love with someone.

    Mom, I would say that you had the most influence on my moral development. You taught me to honor and respect the differences of others, and never to pass judgment or condemn those who have different beliefs because life is not black and white. Dad, you had a lot of influence on my intellectual development. You are the reason that music is my religion. I live and breathe music every day of my life. I think that music is probably the most special thing in the universe, next to love, and I don’t think I would feel so deeply about that if I hadn’t been raised by a guitar player who exposed me to so many of the greatest songs from past generations.

    I would like to thank you both for raising me to think for myself and for loving me unconditionally. I wouldn’t be the strong and independent person that I am today without your influence.

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